Like most expats, you probably don’t want to be tied down to a contract and the hassle of installing a phone line or fibre cable in your home or business because you may well be unsure how long you are planning on staying there, or are just put off by all the hassle and expense. Thankfully there’s some nice simple ways to get yourself online.
Most of the major mobile phone companies have launched 3G services over the last year or so, the latest heavyweight contender being Cellcard’s relaunching of their mobile internet services with their new 3.5G network (you may have noticed their orange clutter on Phnom Penh’s skyline).
The most reasonably priced options for your phone come in the form of a Mfone, Hello or Cellcard 3G sim. They’re pretty convenient as you can just pay with a top-up from your pay-as-you go sim, either weekly or monthly. Out of these, Cellcard is by far the cheapest at just $5 for a month of “unlimited” use (which actually has a fair use policy of about 1GB of data after which they apparently start charging, but even that at 1c per 500kb this isn’t bad for low usage).
A slightly more permanent option is getting a USB dongle, either an unlocked one that you put your own sim in, or direct from the phone company, who usually charge about $20 for the dongle, plus your connection on top of that. Up until recently Hello was the most attractive option, with various set speeds available for different prices for monthly fees of $28 for 128kpbs, $70 for 384kpbs or $85 for 512kpbs unlimited (reportedly speeds often went up above this at off-peak times). Now, however, Cellcard are offering their 3.5G dongle for just $50 per month, which currently seems unbeatable value as speeds hit up to around 2.5mbps to 3mbps.
Your sim card is likely able to access 3G or at least EDGE/GPRS already. Connection details are on the phone companies websites. You can give this a try if you have a Internet-capable phone, and often you can easily tether your phone to your computer and use the internet connection.
And for comparison: